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Thread: The 45-70's Punch

  1. #1

    Default The 45-70's Punch

    From a shooting standpoint, we all have heard the term "punch" referring to a caliber's ability to knock an animal off it's feet - rendering it helpless. As a general question, and the reason why it's being asked, I understand the 45-70 due to it's lower velocities, doe's not produce enough energy to create a punch factor to shock an animal's nervous system. A factor critical for a centerfire cartridge.

    I realize a 45-70 will never produce the same hitting results as a .340 Weathery, for comparison sake. But, as a member of this forum, I have read numerous articles on the cartridge but never received the feeling that it's enough for dangerous game. Any input, would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  2. #2
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    If we consider for a moment the capability of the cartridge, loaded to the pressure limits of strong rifles such as the Ruger No. 1 rifle, it still falls short of the 458 Winchester and the old 450 nitro Express. Those two were pushing 500 grains an an idealistic velocity of 2100 fps. Rarely did factory ammo of the 458 reach that point but the much larger cased 450 N.E. did and a pressures compatable with the double gun. Loading the 45-70 to 60,000 psi will produce about 1950 fps from a 24" barrel with the 500 grain bullet. This of course is beyond what any lever can take.

    The high velocity shock you refer to can be duplicated with a very large diameter flat nosed bullet traveling at much lower velocity. If you shoot a gallon jug full of water with a 125 grain 9mm bullet at 1300 fps then another jug with a 44 caliber 250 grain flat nose (SWC or WFN) at about 850 fps, you'll see the same effect. (actually the 44 is more dramatic). We can give the same effect in animals with the big and slow bullets of correct design.

    I would not hesitate to take on most dangerous game with the 45-70 but I wouldn't want a lever. A good double in 45-70 would make for a very challenging elephant hunt. I'd want good solids but at double gun pressures we would get about 1650 from a 500 grain bullet.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    First no bullet today can knock a critter of its feet unless it also knocks the trigger puller off his feet.In the early 70's our gunclub at the time had Roy Weatherby as a guest speaker. He showed us some old film of bullet test developement he did for the goverment on high speed bullets. The film showed a dog that was killed with a 6" miss at a hundred yards the shockwave doing the damage. Taylor came up with his Konckout figures for bullets many years ago than showed bigger was better. Somewhere between Roy and Taylor lays the truth. The 45/70 at 3,000 fpe at fifty yards will do the same to a critter as any other caliber at the same range and fpe. Then we get to stopping power and breaking bone at that distance and energy dump on suface area. Would you prefer to get hit in the hand by a BB doing a 100 mph or have a bowling ball dropped on it from say 3 feet. All the dangerous game in the world has been taken by the 44mag handgun which pales to the 45/70 but on the flip side a ton of game is poached in Africa useing the 223 includeing Tembo. I love the 45/70 and its realy my only big game gun but all my hunting is 100 yards and most times much less and have never needed more than one shot includeing bear both brown and black. Any man with a 30-06 could say the same thing and reach even farther. FPE is fact and how its used up makes most of the difference

  4. #4

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    Yes, that puts my 1750fps with a 410gr or my 1500fps with a 500gr bullet or 1875fps with a 320gr bullet out of my 45 cal muzzle loader in good company.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    My 45/70 handloads A 350gr hot-core at 2250fps = >3900 foot pounds. and i'm still 3.5 grains off max...it hurts me after a few rounds and sends whatever i hit backwards in time
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  6. #6
    Member jay51's Avatar
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    A properly loaded 45-70 will kill anything that walks this earth with authority, velocity be ****ed. Google Vince Lupo or Garrett Cartridge co. and see what I mean.
    -J

  7. #7

    Default The 45-70-Punch

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    If we consider for a moment the capability of the cartridge, loaded to the pressure limits of strong rifles such as the Ruger No. 1 rifle, it still falls short of the 458 Winchester and the old 450 nitro Express. Those two were pushing 500 grains an an idealistic velocity of 2100 fps. Rarely did factory ammo of the 458 reach that point but the much larger cased 450 N.E. did and a pressures compatable with the double gun. Loading the 45-70 to 60,000 psi will produce about 1950 fps from a 24" barrel with the 500 grain bullet. This of course is beyond what any lever can take.

    The high velocity shock you refer to can be duplicated with a very large diameter flat nosed bullet traveling at much lower velocity. If you shoot a gallon jug full of water with a 125 grain 9mm bullet at 1300 fps then another jug with a 44 caliber 250 grain flat nose (SWC or WFN) at about 850 fps, you'll see the same effect. (actually the 44 is more dramatic). We can give the same effect in animals with the big and slow bullets of correct design.

    I would not hesitate to take on most dangerous game with the 45-70 but I wouldn't want a lever. A good double in 45-70 would make for a very challenging elephant hunt. I'd want good solids but at double gun pressures we would get about 1650 from a 500 grain bullet.

    Reply:

    I appreciated your response, and agree that the 45-70 leveraction has it's limitations. I due understand that certain companies are now re-chambering the Marlin 1895 in the caliber(s): .50 Alaskan, and the new caliber of .510KE (Kodiak Express) which will produce 5000 foot pounds plus. And, still maintain pressures below 40,000 psi.

    I like the idea of a lever in close situations, even for black bear hunting, it might come in handy. Nice talking to you.

    Have a great day!

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfordjr View Post
    Reply:

    I appreciated your response, and agree that the 45-70 leveraction has it's limitations. I due understand that certain companies are now re-chambering the Marlin 1895 in the caliber(s): .50 Alaskan, and the new caliber of .510KE (Kodiak Express) which will produce 5000 foot pounds plus. And, still maintain pressures below 40,000 psi.

    I like the idea of a lever in close situations, even for black bear hunting, it might come in handy. Nice talking to you.

    Have a great day!

    Joe
    Energy matters but I'd never give up sectional density to get it.

    5000 ft lbs of energy is 400 grains at 2400 fps. In a forty caliber rifle we have an SD of .337 in a fifty we have an SD of .220. Never go below .300 when your butt's on the line.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I would not hesitate to take on most dangerous game with the 45-70 but I wouldn't want a lever. A good double in 45-70 would make for a very challenging elephant hunt. I'd want good solids but at double gun pressures we would get about 1650 from a 500 grain bullet.
    So what do you suppose the draw to the 45-70 lever gun is?

  10. #10

    Default Why the lever?

    Over the double? The new levers are mostly short barrel, I can't say I've seen a short barrel double (but I haven't really looked eiither) so might be handier in the alders (I know the doubles don't have a reciever to add to the length but I haven't held them up to each other). The third and fourth (or more) shot may be seen as an advantage also And the biggest factor?
    Hunting rifles are supposed to be levers!
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  11. #11
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    For me the lever has that 'cool' factor also. One other glaring reason is cost, I guess. I'll bet you'd be hard pressed to find a double for the price of a Marlin GG....

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    For me the lever has that 'cool' factor also. One other glaring reason is cost, I guess. I'll bet you'd be hard pressed to find a double for the price of a Marlin GG....
    There's a whole lot to both your points.

    In my experience, criticizing the GG or the 45-70 is a whole lot like interrupting the preacher at a revival meeting. The folks that love it will turn on you, for sure. There are better choices around than a 45-70 GG, but when you factor in fad and cost, the 45-70 is a popular alternative.

    I like the concept of a short fast lever, but I simply can't operate the straight lever of a GG without dropping the rifle from my shoulder. It's just too consarned short for my long arms and my wrist won't bend that way. I believe in the idea enough to have had the barrel clipped on a 45-70 M-1895 in order to retain the pistol grip, which I can cycle at my shoulder. Had another M-1895 rebarreled to a 45-70 wildcat while also keeping the pistol grip, too.

    But I'm sure a lot happier with more oomph than I'm willing to get out of the 45-70 on a Marlin lever action, having seen a couple of them now that didn't fare well with a steady diet of the loads lots of folks advocate. If the chips are down I'm more likely to grab my M-71 450 Alaskan. If the chips are really down I'm packing my 375 H&H or 458 Win Mag bolt guns. With practice they're just as fast, and in fact faster for me to cycle. And if I haven't settled the hash with three shots, I'm not likely to settle it with 5 or 6. The bear will either be out of range or I'll be needing a medivac flight. There's just not 5 or 6 shots worth of time in a charge.

    Use what suits you and what you can afford. A whole lot depends on having faith in what you're using. I figured my faith out a long time ago, and I'll just walk out of the revival meeting rather than interrupt the preacher.

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